The Zambia Federation of Disability Organizations (ZAFOD) has threatened to take legal action against organizations that will not change structural designs of their buildings to accommodate people with mobility problems.
ZAFOD Project Manager for Advancing Disability Equality Project (ADEPt), Wamundila Waliuya said all organizations with designs that restricted people with disabilities would receive reports within 90 days after which they would have put up measures to change their designs.
Mr Waliuya said it was unfortunate for 90 percent of buildings countrywide to be discriminatory and restrict people with mobility problems from accessing them for various public services.
He said this after an accessibility audit of buildings in Livingstone today which included the Livingstone City Council, Livingstone Central Police and the Zambia Postal Services Corporation (ZAMPOST).
Mr Waliuya said it was unfortunate for public places like the Livingstone Central Police Station to be completely inaccessible for people with mobility problems, especially those confined to wheelchairs, since they also had rights like everyone else to access services offered there.
He challenged the Livingstone City Council, police and management at ZAMPOST to source funding and re-design their buildings to improve accessibility for people with mobility problems.
Mr Waliuya said buildings that were discriminatory to people with disabilities robbed them of the respect and dignity that all human beings were entitled to because they always had to rely on other people to carry them around.
He said Zambia was a signatory to the United Nations Convention on people with disabilities and architectural designs of all buildings had to be changed to accommodate all people including the disabled before ratification of the charter was done.
Mr Waliuya called on government to increase funding to his organization so that inspection of buildings could be sped up for the long term plan of changing all buildings countrywide.
And ZAMPOST Post Master, Tom Musakanya, said he was unhappy about the design of the Main Post Office and its restrictions to people with disabilities but said there was room for change if government could provide the funds.
Mr Musakanya said his organization did not discriminate against anyone because it needed more clients regardless of their backgrounds to improve its business operations.
He said ZAMPOST could only expand if its premises were easily accessible to both able-bodied and disabled people.